How to Clear Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Clearing cells in Excel is an essential skill if you work with data. Whether you want to start fresh, remove errors, or simply tidy up your spreadsheet, knowing how to clear cells efficiently can save you time and frustration. In less than a minute, you’ll be able to clear any cell in Excel with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Clear Cells in Excel

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Clearing cells means removing the data within them. This can include text, numbers, formulas, or even formatting. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a clean slate in no time.

Step 1: Select the Cell(s) You Want to Clear

Click on the cell or drag your mouse to select multiple cells.

Selecting the right cells is crucial. Make sure you don’t accidentally include cells that contain important information you want to keep. If you’re selecting a range, check the corners to ensure you’ve got the right selection.

Step 2: Right-Click to Open the Context Menu

Right-click on the selected cell(s) to open the context menu.

The context menu is where you’ll find various options for manipulating your cells. It’s a quick way to access essential functions without navigating through the top ribbon.

Step 3: Click on ‘Clear Contents’

In the context menu, click on ‘Clear Contents’ to clear the selected cells.

‘Clear Contents’ does exactly what it says – it clears the content of the cell without affecting the formatting or comments.

Step 4: Alternatively, Use the Ribbon

Go to the ‘Home’ tab, and in the ‘Editing’ group, click on ‘Clear’ then ‘Clear Contents.’

If you prefer using the ribbon, this is another way to clear cells. The ‘Clear’ button has a dropdown menu where you can choose different types of clears, including formats, comments, or all.

Step 5: Use a Keyboard Shortcut

Press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard to clear the selected cells.

For those who love efficiency, the ‘Delete’ key is your friend. It’s a quick and easy way to clear cells without clicking through menus.

Once you complete the action of clearing cells, you’ll have a clean space to work with. This can help you reorganize your data, input new data, or simply give your spreadsheet a cleaner look.

Tips for Clearing Cells in Excel

  • Always double-check the cells you’re about to clear to ensure you’re not deleting important data.
  • Use the ‘Undo’ function (Ctrl + Z) if you accidentally clear the wrong cells.
  • To clear formatting but keep the data, use the ‘Clear Formats’ option in the context menu or ribbon.
  • If you have a large range of cells to clear, use the ‘Find & Select’ tool to locate specific data types before clearing.
  • Remember that clearing cells will not delete the cells themselves, just the content within them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clear cells without removing the formatting?

To clear cells without removing the formatting, right-click on the selected cells, and choose ‘Clear Contents’ instead of ‘Clear All.’

Can I undo clearing cells in Excel?

Yes, you can undo clearing cells by pressing Ctrl + Z or by clicking on the ‘Undo’ button in the Quick Access Toolbar.

Is there a way to clear cells based on certain criteria?

Absolutely. Use the ‘Find & Select’ feature under the ‘Home’ tab, set your criteria, and then clear the cells you have selected.

What’s the difference between ‘Clear All’ and ‘Clear Contents’?

‘Clear All’ removes everything—data, formatting, and any comments. ‘Clear Contents’ only removes the data within the cells.

Can I clear cells across multiple worksheets at once?

Yes, you can select multiple worksheets by holding Ctrl and clicking the tabs, then clear cells simultaneously across them.


  1. Select the cell(s) you want to clear.
  2. Right-click to open the context menu.
  3. Click on ‘Clear Contents’.
  4. Alternatively, use the ribbon.
  5. Use the ‘Delete’ keyboard shortcut.


Clearing cells in Excel is a fundamental skill that can make data management much more manageable. Whether you’re preparing your spreadsheet for new data, correcting mistakes, or simply tidying up, the ability to clear cells quickly and efficiently is invaluable. With the simple steps outlined in this article, you can clear cells like a pro, leaving you more time to focus on analyzing your data and drawing valuable insights.

Remember, always double-check the cells you’re about to clear to avoid losing crucial data, and don’t forget that the ‘Undo’ function is there to save the day if you make a mistake. Use the tips provided to enhance your Excel experience and keep your data looking clean and organized. Clearing cells in Excel may seem minor, but it’s these small skills that contribute to your overall proficiency in managing and presenting data effectively. Now, go on and clear those cells with confidence!